By: Mikayla Alexander
St. Louis has a wide array of music venues and concert halls located in the city and the county. We are home to both large venues and underrated ones. Despite the size, going to venues can overrun your excitement with a sense of anxiety. This article will provide you with some great options to help you feel a little less overwhelmed.
The Pageant Located in “The Loop”
Venue Address: 6161 Delmar Blvd.
The Pageant is in the Delmar Loop right next to the Moonrise Hotel. Their maximum capacity is around 2000, but it gives the illusion of a more intimate setting since all seats are within 70 feet of the stage. Once you walk into the first-floor area, you will see a perimeter of tiered table seating around a dance floor, which faces the stage. The second level also has tiered seats and a balcony, which makes for a splendid, elevated view. Their house policies state that anyone and their belongings are subject to being searched. In terms of bags, any type of containment larger than 12’’x 6’’ x 12’’ is prohibited. The Pageant does not provide food, but they do provide drinks at the bar. They accept cash or cards for drink purchases and any ticket purchases. They allow 18+ admission and check I.D.’s at the door. Any adult 21 or older gets a stamp on their hand so they can be served at the bar. Although The Pageant does not provide food, they do allow outside food should you buy some in the surrounding area. The Delmar Loop itself is full of restaurants, stores, and venues all in walking distance of one another, which makes parking easy. Most of the street parking in front of the entrance will be filled so parking behind the venue would be recommended. Another good parking lot can be found if you go further down Delmar Blvd, and behind the strip where Seoul Taco and Starbucks are located. The Delmar Loop has a few colleges within miles of its location so if you are a student and if it is not too cold, you could walk to The Pageant as well.
photo via The Pageant cr- Todd Morgan, BackBeat Photography
Venice Café Located in Southside St. Louis
Venue Address: 1903 Pestalozzi St.
The Venice Café can be found in the Benton Park area, known as a historic district, filled with restaurants and vintage stores. They host Open Mic night on Mondays and different artists play live music from Tuesday to Saturday night. On Sundays, they will be closed. This location is 21+ only and they have a bar that offers a variety of mixed cocktails, beers, and wine. Venice Café is cash only, but if you do not come prepared, they have an ATM on-site. Like The Pageant, they do not offer food, but you can bring outside food in. Many locals love this venue because of the colorful décor and art. The inside is illuminated with lights of all colors and art filling the walls in forms of paintings, pictures, and mosaics. Most businesses in this historic area look like old, redecorated homes and Venice Café is no exception. The interior itself is small and offers a few round tables with bar stool seating. Aside from the signs outside, the brick building looks no different than the two-family homes you see in the surrounding area. There is an outdoor patio that offers more open space for seating and is also filled with more art. This venue has a very warm atmosphere, and the décor is pleasantly stimulating. Since the location is in a neighborhood, street parking is your only option. If you happen to live nearby, and it is not too cold, then walking is recommended as well.
photo via St. Louis Post- Dispatch cr- David Carson
The Factory Located in Chesterfield
Venue Address: 17105 N Outer 40 Rd.
Unlike the first two venues, The Factory is in St. Louis County. The Factory is within “The District,” an outlet shopping strip and a few minutes away from another strip called “Chesterfield Commons.” The Factory prides itself on being a brand-new live music venue, having officially opened in July 2021. It is the largest venue on this list, with a capacity of up to 3000. With the venue having so much space, they have opportunities to rearrange seating to provide a smaller capacity or larger one depending on the show. The main floor is large and is standing-only, with tiered seating surrounding it. They do allow 18+ admission and I.D. will be checked at the door. The Factory does not allow outside food and drink, but they do have a free water station and have seven bars available. They sell merchandise in the lobby and should you choose to purchase a drink or merch, you will need to have a credit/debit card. The only time they would accept cash is if the artist’s merchandise accepts that form of payment. Despite having seven bars, food offerings are subject to certain shows. It is best to eat beforehand. If you would like to know if your show will have food, then email The Factory at email@example.com. Since the venue is within the shopping strip, finding a parking spot will not be a challenging task, especially with attendants and signs on site to guide show-goers. However, I have heard that leaving the parking lot can be a huge hassle since there is only a one-way road that takes you from the strip and back to the highway. The venue itself comes with a plethora of rules and guidelines that are obvious: “no weapons” or “no food”. Anyone and their belongings are subject to being searched. The bag policy states that any bag larger than 12’’ x 10’’ x 10’’ is prohibited. They suggest no bags, but for many that is not possible, so make sure you measure your bag. I would highly recommend reading their venue rules before attending a show there. For example, glow sticks are not allowed, and they have specific measurement requirements should you bring a sign.
photo via The Factory STL
These local venues are worth the hype, and you are bound to have an entertaining experience.